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Program Committee

The Program Committee plans and coordinates the program for the Annual Meeting of the College.
Chair: Letitia Sullivan, CNM; Chair-elect: Pamela Reis

A Look inside the ACNM Program Committee

By Pamela Reis, CNM, NNP-BC, PhD, FACNM (ACNM Program Committee Chair-Elect) and Letitia Sullivan, CNM, MS, FACNM (ACNM Program Committee Chair)


The purpose of the ACNM Program Committee (PC) is to help plan, coordinate, and evaluate the educational content of the Annual Meeting of the College. The PC also coordinates the Annual Business Meeting.  The Annual Meeting involves the ongoing and coordinated efforts of the ACNM Board of Directors (BOD), ACNM staff, the contracted meeting planners, the PC members, and vendors for services related to the Annual Meeting.


PC Member Responsibilities

The activities of the PC members are explained in the PC’s Standing Rules of Procedure. The PC Chair is responsible for coordinating the activities between the National Program Committee, the local program committee, the National Headquarters staff, and those designated and/or contracted individuals assisting with the annual meeting planning and oversight. The responsibilities of PC members include, but are not limited to planning, soliciting, reviewing, selecting, and coordinating the educational portions of the annual meeting. They may provide assistance to speakers and members attending workshops, educational sessions, and business meetings. 


PC Members

All PC members are volunteers, including the Chair. The PC Chair is appointed by the ACNM President with approval from the BOD and must be an active member of ACNM who has demonstrated leadership ability and knowledge of ACNM organization, philosophy, purpose and function. The Chairperson should have served a minimum of two years as a member of the National Program Committee prior to being appointed chair. 


The PC Chair-Elect is appointed by the ACNM President by April the year before assuming office and must meet the qualifications to be appointed Chair. The Chair, Chair-Elect, and PC members are appointed to 3-year terms and may be reappointed for an additional 3-year term. The PC ad-hoc members’ terms are based on their roles within the volunteer structure and their responsibilities for the Annual Meeting.


PC members must be Active, Associate, or Student members of ACNM. They must be able to participate in committee meetings, attend conference calls, and be present at the Annual Meeting.  All member of the PC are required to adhere to conflict of interest confidentiality requirements.


PC members are appointed by the Chair with consideration for the following:

§  2 members-at-large are appointed with consideration for geographical representation.

  1. §  One representative is from the midwifery military community.

  • §  nOne representative has experience working with vulnerable populations.

  • §  One representative has experience in out-of-hospital birth.

  • §  Several ad-hoc members also participate on the PC such as the local committee members, the ACNM BOD Liaison who is appointed by the ACNMPresident as a non-voting member, the student representative to the ACNM BOD, and ACNM staff members, as determined by the ACNM Executive Director, who serve as advisors and are involved with event coordination, special events, space allocation, and other relevant issues.


The PC communicates with other ACNM Committee and Division Chairs and Co-chairs to ensure opportunities are available for sessions, open forums, and meetings.

Annual Meeting Program

Abstracts are submitted by authors to a specific track and are reviewed by PC members representing each track. For each track there is a track Chair. Track chairs have experience in the track for which they are responsible. Each chair is responsible for working with members of the track to review abstracts designated within the track and for special programming (such as invited speakers for special topics) within the track.


The abstract tracks are as follows:

  • §  Clinical Track: abstracts that include content about midwifery clinical practice.

  • §  Education Track: abstracts that include content about midwifery education.

  • §  Global Midwifery: abstracts that include content about global midwifery practice.

  • §  Leadership: abstracts that include content about midwifery leadership issues.

  • §  Midwifery Matters – Business: abstracts that include content about the business aspects of midwifery practice.

  • §  Midwifery Matters – Public Perceptions:

  • §  Research Track – abstracts about midwifery research that are submitted for review by the DOR (not the PC)

  • §  Research Track – abstracts about midwifery research that are submitted for review by the DOR (not the PC)

  • §  Racism and Disparities [NEW TRACK]: abstracts that include content about racism and disparities in midwifery and the care of women and infants.

  • §  Miscellaneous: abstracts about issues of importance to midwifery that may not specifically align with the other tracks.

Premier Session Speakers

Under the BOD directive to the PC, the PC Chair issues the call for the Opening General Session and plenary speakers. This is mandated to take place within 30 days of the ending of the current annual meeting.  Everyone is notified of the call via ACNM electronic notification from the national office. The final section is thoroughly vetted taking into consideration the speaker’s experience, alignment of the topic with the College’s mission, vision, and strategic plan, membership requests, and fiscal responsibility. The final selection process rests with the ACNM President, ACNM Executive Director, PC Chair, and the meeting consultant who has the expertise to effectively negotiate fiscally responsible contracts with the speakers’ bureau who may be representing the speaker. The ACNM meetings manager is responsible for coordination of the final communication with the selected speakers.

PC Meetings

The PC meets monthly via telephone conference. The work of the PC and our meeting structure has undergone considerable change during the past year due to ACNM realignment of finances and National Office structure. In 2016 we were tasked to hold, for the first time, a virtual annual meeting planning session instead of face-to-face as in the past. This meeting format will continue in 2017 as we prepare for the 2018 Annual Meeting. While challenging, virtual meetings do incur far less expense and can be productive with the use of innovative technologies and electronic platforms. The Annual Meeting planning session is a complex and labor-intensive process. PC members are responsible for mapping out the entire Annual Meeting program which includes placing accepted abstracts and poster sessions in the proper time slot, allocating room space, determining whether or not presentations should be repeated based on popular demand, identifying gaps in content for which invited speakers can be solicited, and determining whether or not the schedule aligns with member evaluations and feedback from the prior Annual Meeting.


The final program is similar to a tapestry in progress with many fluid parts being fitted together to ensure a successful meeting.


Support the Teresa Marsico Memorial Fund and Help Fulfill ACNM’s Strategic Plan

Donors to the A.C.N.M. Foundation can help ACNM achieve their 2015-2020 Strategic Plan by designating their monies to the “Marsico Fund” when making contributions at:

American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
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